Hacked Gadgets Forum

March 10, 2006

LED Cubes

at 9:07 pm. Filed under Complex Hacks, Cool Gadgets, Electronic Hacks

LED Cubes are interesting. A work of art at rest, and hypnotic experience once the microcontroller takes charge. This cube was created by Chris Lomont and Gene Foulk. Initially prototyped using a PIC microcontroller that was later swapped out in favor of a gumstick controller. “Gene and I started construction on a LED cube. We built a 4x4x4 bicolor prototype over the weekend to help us decide on LED colors, programming interface, etc. Our final cube(s) will be at least 8x8x8, and we contemplate up to 13x13x13 = 2197 LEDs, which would be a tad expensive, not to mention the horrible mess of wiring we’d have to do.”

This video is of the smaller 4X4X4 LED cube.

Steve Boyer created a beautiful LED cube using glass tubes to hold columns of LEDs vertical.
“The 125 LEDs in this piece are driven by a tiny microprocessor embedded in the base of the object. The software consists of a combination of self-evolving algorithms and pre-rendered animation. It is intended to evolve with the piece, turning the physical object itself into a kind of digital Petri dish. We perceive the energy contained in the object, but with a strong sense that, if we weren’t watching, it might exceed the bounds of the container in which we put it. This is not, however, an attempt to create digital life, but to suggest it and to reveal the power and energy that are the raw materials of which it could be composed.”

The Cubatron by Mark Lottor is a huge LED cube. Each pixel is an RGB LED and PIC12F629 microcontroller that is mounted inside a ping pong ball.
“The Cubatron is 8x8x8 feet. It is held up by 4 guy wires, one at each of the top corners of the cube. A “fence” 5 feet from each side of the Cubatron keeps people from touching it, as it is fragile. Thus it requires a footprint of approximately 18×18 feet. The Cubatron only operates at night. A small gas generator is located nearby for power.”

James Clar has created many LED based systems. His 1000 LED cube is very nicely constructed. While sampling his creations don’t miss the Square Eclipse. Take a look at Modern Contemporary Design for a few images that don’t appear on James Clar’s Web site.

“1000 LEDs soldered into a spatial display unit. The 3D cube is a 10 x 10 x 10 freestanding cube matrix with 1000 individually controllable LEDs. Each LED acts as one pixel in the spatial array and can be refreshed at a rate of over 60 frames per second creating a low resolution 3D television.”

You can read more information about this project here. Well you can if you speak German 🙂 If you are language challenged like me you will have to settle for looking at nice pictures.

The creator of this cube is unknown, more pictures can be found at David Wyatt’s Web site. Judging by the pictures this unit has some serious horsepower behind it! Have a look at the processor…

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